When UFC Fight Night 102 ‘Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov’ (online betting) opened with several lackluster bouts up in Albany, N.Y., Friday night, many were likely thinking when -- if at all -- the great fights and finishes would come. Thanks to a largely terrific main card and a strong finish to the prelims, several fighters earned well-deserved $50 thousand bonuses.
Light heavyweight Gian Villante and Saparbek Safarov slugged it out for nearly two rounds, with each man on the verge of being stopped in the first. But an injured left leg prevented Safarov from gaining any real leverage on his shots and strikes as the fight dragged on, allowing Villante to capitalize. Finally, after another torrid exchange, Villante finished his foe off in the second in what was the “Fight of the Night.”
The Times Union Hall exploded in excitement for both Francis Ngannou and Gerald Meerschaert as two pocketed an additional $50K for “Performance of the Night.” Ngannou subbed fellow heavyweight Anthony Hamilton with a slick kimura from knee-on-belly and middleweight Meerschaert forced Joe Gigliotti to tap out due to a textbook anaconda choke in the first.